Want to know what it’s like to join the C2C beauty brand accelerator? In this article, 5 ambitious beauty brand founders who’ve graduated from the Conventional to Cult Status accelerator program share their biggest takeaways from their experiences.
1. Lissette Monzon
Lissette Monzon is a C2C graduate and the founder of Lilly Be, an organic care line that’s formulated to promote mind-body synergy and a deeper connection with nature.
Before C2C: Struggling with Moving from Retail to the Digital Space
Before enrolling in C2C, Lissette was struggling with shifting her business into the digital space to meet her yearly financial goals amidst COVID. “Last year was all about translating my in-person event experiences to the digital space. With Aggie’s help, I built out email campaigns, zoom personal shopping sessions, live sessions, and more. “
Lissette’s Biggest Takeaway: Having More Accountability
Lissette credits the beauty brand accelerator with helping her stay accountable and meet her goals. “The biggest benefit was in having Aggie and the C2C group there as accountability partners. It helped me start a steady Live series (which I wanted to do for well over a year) and show up more in general. From being consistent with newsletters, posts, welcome series, and most of all getting ahead of this holiday launch, I can say that I am sure I will see more consistency in sales in the next year.”
After graduating the program, Lissette is seeing her brand’s best year ever. “I’m happy to share that I was reviewing some data and I actually broke just about even in sales for Q4 2019 to 2020. But the real win is that my online sales increased by 213%. And these are just the sales that were done on my website. It doesn’t include the zoom sessions I did where I invoiced my customers separately.”
2. Zurie Cheung
Zurie Cheung is a yoga instructor and energy healer who founded FlowFilling to help women heal their bodies, offer stress and pain relief, and enhance their skin and gut with the help of CBD and Traditional Chinese medicine.
Before C2C: Struggling with Objectivity
Before starting the Conventional to Cult Status beauty brand accelerator, Zurie had a hard time being objective about her brand. “I was [never] able to pull myself out of the center of my brand. My business is my baby. And I assumed I would be my own target audience. I had a hard time figuring out who is my audience instead of assuming people will love it because I love it.”
Zurie’s Biggest Takeaway: Honing Down Her Target Audience and Defining Her Brand’s Top Priorities
Since graduating, Zurie connects on a deeper level with her target audience. “Aggie helped me pull myself back and realize who my real target audience is. It’s not just about me anymore. I really figured out who exactly my target audience is, and it’s been a total game-changer.”
What’s more, Zurie now has a clearer vision of what steps she needs to take to grow her brand. “Normally, I’m all over the place and I just feel like my to-do lists have a thousand things waiting for me to do. I didn’t even know how to prioritize it or where to start. So after C2C, it just kind of gave me a world map to give you a perspective on exactly what I need to do.”
3. Anne-Laure Dessimoz
Valyxir is an organic skincare brand with Swiss roots that’s founded by C2C graduate Anne-Laure Dessimoz.
Before C2C: Just a Concept
Anne-Laure began the beauty brand accelerator with only an idea and a few test samples for the brand. “[As a brand founder], I was concerned about building the right foundation. Because I’m just at the beginning of my journey, I really needed that discovery of the many different aspects of marketing. We went through visual branding, Instagram, product descriptions, email marketing… it’s so important to know about the work that goes behind each of them.”
Anne-Laure’s Biggest Takeaway: Establishing Engaging Marketing and Communication
Today Anne-Laure is more comfortable with the essential strategies that go behind each marketing strategy. “Aggie helped me realize what it means to be a professional brand. You can have an idea of what you want to do, but thanks to our discussions and me getting to see the journey from the other people in the group, I was able to see and understand what it really means to launch a product and to have good marketing and communication. [The C2C program] helped me to be more focused and more professional. I learned how to have a brand mission that’s also connected to my personal story.”
4. Katie Hall
Katie Hall is a C2C graduate and the co-founder of St. James’ Well, a luxury skincare line that delivers the skin benefits of CBD without the concerns of THC.
Before C2C: Struggling with Developing Her Brand Assets
Before beginning the accelerator program, Katie struggled with having strong branding. “I had already put together the materials for the line. It had always been up to us to go out and look for our all own resources, but I realized that I needed more help to polish it all up. We didn’t have our brand voice niched down very well either. Our marketing was so broad, we were selling to everyone.”
After taking C2C, there were so many ideas and resources that were shared, it made the plan of attack in many different areas so much easier to accomplish. We weren’t scrambling to resource our next steps. C2C made the steps very clear. There was a lot of work that needed to be done to get the core of our brand.”
Katie’s Biggest Takeaway: The Feedback From Both Aggie and her Peers
After graduating from C2C, Katie’s brand’s voice is clearer than ever and she saved the time and hassle of the brand identity process. “C2C helped us develop our brand voice and really target our ideal audience. Even though we had an idea of who we were as a brand, the work we did in C2C really defined it. Now we’re able to communicate our brand story to our audience and potential retail vendors so much better than we were several months ago. It would have taken me so much more time to make the progress on my own. If I had not participated in C2C I would have made more costly mistakes.”
“With the information from C2C, I was able to improve the content of the website, better understand negotiating retail opportunities, increase sales, further define the target customer and speak to them. I was also able to close a deal with my first retail partner…we are thrilled to be there and so thankful for all that I learned in C2C.”
Katie also credits C2C with offering her a strong community of supportive peers. “The [weekly] hot seats were amazing! Not only did I have the opportunity to have Aggie weigh in on my projects, but I received feedback from my peers. I also learned from my peers and the projects they presented and learned from the feedback they received from Aggie and the group.”
“As different brands were at different stages of development, it provided much food for thought. The C2C community is a very special group of people. Aggie’s generosity of her knowledge and resources set the stage for this community to share their experiences and resources as well.”
5. Kristen Heaton
Kristen Heaton is another C2C graduate and the founder of Crave Naturals, a bestselling brand that offers detangling hairbrushes that actually feel good to use.
Before C2C: Struggling with Finding Her Target Customer
Pre-C2C, Kristen was dealing with a lack of clarity with who her brand really catered to and what her brand really stood for. “Prior to [C2C], I felt lost and disconnected with my brand. I struggled to understand who my target customer was and how to communicate with them. Working with Aggie was a surreal experience… A lightbulb would go off in every session we worked together.”
Kristen’s Biggest Takeaway: Clearer Brand Identity
Kristen credits C2C with creating the framework she needed to hone down her brand identity. “Aggie offers a wealth of knowledge and experience that helped me figure out my brand voice and allowed me to feel a deeper connection with my business. I would say that the greatest outcome that came from working with Aggie is clarity and a deeper understanding of how to connect with customers. Anyone that struggles to find their brand voice or has zero clue when it comes to building a brand with substance, you’ll want to work with Aggie.”